Domain Basics

A domain name uniquely identifies a website. Getting a domain name involves registering the name you want with an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Companies called domain-name registrars do this work for you (for a fee, of course).

Web hosting companies will also offer to register a domain name for you as part of a package that offers the name, server space, and software tools for website development. These tools include software platforms like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, and Plone that help make web design and digital publication intuitive. Emory's Domain of One's Own Program is serving as a web hosting company for students and faculty in the program. We purchased a server through Reclaim Hosting and now are redistributing that space to you.

Weebly.com and WordPress.com are hosts that allow you to create and deploy a website for no charge, provided that your site is a part of their domain (e.g., mysitename.wordpress.com or mysitename.weebly.com) and that your site contains an advertisement (e.g., a Weebly logo in your site footer). They will also register a new domain name for you or allow you to attach a domain name you've already registered to a site you've built using their development tools.

Building a site at Weebly.com or WordPress.com and then allowing Weebly or WordPress to register a new domain name for you eliminates the hassle of dealing with multiple organizations and mapping your domain name to a host, but it does cost more.